June 13, 2008 Subject:
Wonderful for a Jane Austen tea or dinner
A beginner in historical cooking will never find it comfortable not to have level measurements, &c., but as an old hand who hacked out medieval recipes, I found this very easy to work from. Mollard's Diet Bread Cake is an example (this is rather like my favorite anise biscotti without the second baking, and carraway instead of anise): starting with nine eggs, the amount of flour and sugar is based against their weight. This is invaluable when you don't know what size the eggs may be, since that the ones hot from under the hens would likely be different sizes. I find it fascinating that at this date there is not a single mention of vanilla, chocolate, or tomatoes in over 300 pages: sweets are all based on custard or fruit, and the ketchups are made from mushrooms or walnuts. Remember for baking that for a hoop you should use a springform pan. You will have to guess sizes when you make anything in a pan, until you work it out. Look for the simpler items and give it a shot!